This Week for Faculty: Nurture your own pedagogy of hope

by | Jul 2, 2024

In Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto (available as an ebook), Gannon (2020), provides a framework for infusing hope into pedagogical practice. For Gannon, a pedagogy of hope is life-affirming, in that it “[fosters] lifelong learning and [ensures] that teaching and learning are vital”; it is centered on student agency, inviting students to play an active role in their learning; and it is inclusive, meaning learning spaces are “accessible for all” (Gannon, 2020: 23-5).

Drawing from Ganon’s (2020) work, here are two strategies you can use in the upcoming semester to nurture your own pedagogy of hope:

(1) Reflect on your values and align course materials: “What are we saying to our students? What does your everyday teaching practices and classroom style say about what we think of them? What messages—whether intentional or not—do we convey to our students?” (Gannon, 2020: 31).

These questions posed by Gannon create an opportunity to take a step back, reflect on your own values, and ensure that your course materials (e.g., syllabusassessment, course texts) are in alignment. At the same time, they ask for transparency, and consideration for the micro-messaging communicated to students, whether intentionally or not.

(2) Create space for learners’ reflection: How might you foster reflective practice in the classroom? How might students take ownership of their learning through reflection?

“Any time we can give students such opportunities to reflect not only on what they’ve learned, but about themselves as learners, we help them develop agency. When students see themselves as not just the recipients of content but as knowledge producers, as architects of their own learning, then they reap the full benefits of higher education” (Ganon, 2020: 94).

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